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Fantasy football managers only have two moods after Week 1: go all in or blow up the entire squad.
Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, whose offseason fantasy football ADP (average draft position) placed him as a first-round pick, had a decent game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday and summoned the wrath of predictably upset fantasy team managers that picked Ekeler as a lead RB or overall player. Since he didn’t blow the doors off Sunday, tallying a modest 18 touches for 72 total yards (11.2 fantasy points, PPR), team managers feel like the sky is falling after one week.
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Yahoo Sports’ Matt Harmon discussed the Week 1 backlash with the Chargers player, and Ekeler eventually agreed to open up his social media DMs to peeved fantasy managers for “constructive criticism” rather than the typically depressing responses after one sub-par week.
“Everybody chill out! We have 16 more games to play! Everybody chill,” Ekeler declared.
“If you’re gonna be in my DMs, just make sure it’s constructive criticism, not personal … I can take that. Constructive criticism, bring it on. I know more than you know that I need to be better in the run game.”
Expectations are high for Ekeler, who accrued 20 total touchdowns as a dual-threat runner last season. He shared that it’s all too familiar when a fan gets into his DMs just to trash talk.
“Personal attacks? Nah, you’re gonna get blocked.”
Ekeler expects to “rebound” in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense, facing off on Thursday night.
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KC started the season with a strong run defense against the speedy Arizona Cardinals: limiting QB Kyler Murray to five carries for 29 yards and Cards RB James Conner to 10 rushes and 26 yards.
The Chargers and Ekeler have a mixed outlook on their slate of opposing run defenses before the Week 8 bye: ranging from the porous Texans defense to Cleveland’s stout D-line.
With the Chargers still ranked as one of the top offenses to watch this season, there’s little doubt that Ekeler will get his due respect with fantasy fans if he stays healthy.
Los Angeles and Kansas City kick off their AFC West battle on Thursday night — 8:15 p.m., EST — available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Read Anthony Farris‘ recap on the OutKick Fantasy Football League.
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
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